What is a 3.2 GPA? What colleges accept a 3.2 GPA?

Do you have a 3.2 GPA? Are you wondering whether a 3.2 is good, and what colleges you can get into with a 3.2?

We've written the most detailed guide to your GPA here:

  • Find out which colleges you can get into with a 3.2 GPA.
  • Learn how you can raise your GPA.
  • Learn what you should be doing to maximize your chances of getting into the best colleges.

Quick disclaimer: unlike standardized test scores like SAT/ACT, GPA policies vary from high school to high school and from college to college. Some use weighted GPAs and others use unweighted GPAs. In this guide, we’ll generally talk about unweighted GPAs and compare you on a national and college level.

As we'll explain below, the actual GPA number is just one dimension of your coursework. The difficulty of your courseload is important - the more difficult your classes, the more colleges are willing to excuse a dip in GPA.

Finally, even though this guide focuses on a 3.2 GPA, our advice is the same for close GPAs, like 3.22 and 3.18 GPAs. You can use this guide for all GPAs between 3.1500000000000004 and 3.24.

Is a 3.2 GPA good?

A 3.2 GPA means that you're mostly getting Bs and B+s in all of your classes. Your GPA is above the national high school average of a 3.0, but more selective colleges may be out of reach depending on your test scores and other aspects of your application.

We've analyzed the student profiles at 1500+ colleges across the United States and the average GPA of its incoming students. Here's how a 3.2 GPA compares to the nation:

  • score-percent Percentile: 29th

    29.57% of schools have an average GPA below a 3.2.

  • score-compete Competitive For: 464 Schools

    You can apply to colleges and have a good shot at getting admitted.

  • score-missing Missing Out On: 1105 Schools

    You have a low chance of getting into with a 3.2 GPA.

To elaborate, the national average for GPA is around a 3.0, so a 3.2 puts you above average nationally. Keep in mind the 3.0 national average represents all students, not just students applying to college, so the average GPA of students admitted to colleges is higher than the national average.

Here's more custom advice for you if you have a 3.2 GPA. Click your grade level to see our evaluation.

As a freshman, you still have a few years to raise your GPA before you apply to college. With a 3.2, you may have difficulty getting into selective schools, so you could end up having far less choices for college than someone with a slightly higher GPA. The next couple years will give you the opportunity to take more difficult classes and raise your grades so that you can give yourself more options. You may not have any colleges in mind yet, but if any schools interest you feel free to look them up with our search tool in the next section. This will allow you to see your chances of admission with your current GPA. You can also change this page to a slightly higher GPA and recheck your chances in order to motivate yourself!

You're past the halfway point for college applications, so your GPA may be difficult to change from now on. However, it's still possible to make a difference in your GPA if you do very well junior year. Though you have a higher than average GPA, you are still going to run into some obstacles in the college application process if you're hoping to get into more selective schools. You can check your admissions chances at any colleges you think you're interested in with the search tool in the next section.

Your GPA will most likely stay the same between now and senior fall when you apply to college, barring any extreme differences in your grades. While a 3.2 is a decent GPA, it's not significantly higher than average and will put some limits on your college search and application process. More selective schools will probably be out of reach with this GPA, but you will still have plenty of options. If you're thinking about any schools at this point, you can search for them in the next section to see how your chances of admission look based on your GPA and test scores.

Since you're a senior, it's likely that you've already begun the college application process in some capacity. If you've done some research, you probably know that a 3.2 GPA limits your college search quite a bit. You still have a high enough GPA to be competitive at a range of schools, but more selective options may be closed off to you. If you already know where you plan to apply, you can search for those schools in the next section and check on your chances of admission.

Your Chances With a 3.2 GPA

This is probably the biggest question on your mind. What colleges can you get into with a 3.2? What are your chances of admission at your top choice schools?

We've built a custom admissions calculator that calculates your chances based on the 3 most important factors to determining your chance of admissions:

  • The school's admission rate
  • Your GPA
  • Your SAT/ACT score

Here's how to use this calculator:

  1. Choose the SAT or the ACT, depending on which you're taking
  2. Choose your current SAT/ACT score
  3. Enter the name of each college you're interested in
  4. Change your SAT/ACT score to see how your chances change

Pick your test: Old SAT ACT

SAT Score
School Name Location Chances: 3.2 GPA + Chances: 3.2 GPA + Average GPA
% %
*These calculations fix your GPA at 3.2, but you might have room for improvement. If you want to see your chances with a different GPA, at the bottom of this page you'll be able to switch to a different GPA.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

This is important when you're considering your GPA. You probably know how hard it is to pull up your grades and GPA. If you improve your SAT/ACT score, you'll be able to show colleges that you're academically prepared for college.

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

There's a lot more to PrepScholar that makes it the best SAT/ACT prep program. Click to learn more about our program, or sign up for our 5-day free trial to check out PrepScholar for yourself:

SAT Free Signup        ACT Free Signup

Can You Improve Your GPA?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: GPAs aren’t easy to improve. The later you are in high school, the less your GPA will change before you apply to college.

For example, if you're currently a junior in high school, your grades in freshman and sophomore year will anchor your GPA so that your junior grades won't be able to change your total GPA much.

Here's a calculator for you to see how much your GPA can improve in different cases. Choose your current grade level, and then choose your future grades up until college applications. We'll show you how high or low your GPA can be, depending on your grades from now forward.

Your Grade Level Current GPA Semesters Remaining Future Grades GPA for Applications

0 3.2

Warning: Because you have no semesters left, your GPA won't change by the time college applications are due. You'll need to apply with a 3.2 GPA. As we explain next, your best chance at improving your chances of getting in may be to improve your SAT/ACT score.

Final Verdict and Advice

From the information above, you can see that your current GPA will give you a relatively wide variety of college options. You still have an above average GPA, and you won't have a problem getting into schools that are on the less selective side. As a freshman, however, you have plenty of time to get your GPA even higher and be competitive for a greater number of schools. You should start pushing yourself as soon as possible to improve your grades and, if you're up to it, take more difficult classes. If you can manage to put in more effort, it will pay off when colleges see that you grew immensely over the course of your years in high school. It's easy to get stuck in a rut with your study habits, so try and fix any problems you're having in your classes sooner rather than later!

As a sophomore, you still have a year left to raise your GPA. Based on your college searches in the tool above, you'll see that you have a good chance of acceptance to less selective schools, but there will still be many colleges that are out of reach. Over the course of your junior year, you should work on improving your grades as much as possible and challenging yourself in your classes. You may not be able to change your GPA that much, but colleges will notice even small differences in your grades and the difficulty of your coursework.

You can also start studying for standardized tests so that you end up with high scores that will improve your admissions prospects. Planning ahead for standardized tests will help you to reduce stress next year and avoid retaking tests too many times. If you're responsible with your study habits next year and plan ahead for college applications, you have a solid chance of getting into a good school.

At this point, you most likely won't be able to make any significant changes in your GPA before you apply to college. Based on the tool above, you can see that you have a strong chance of being accepted to many colleges, but schools that are on the more competitive side may be out of reach.

You should still try to raise your grades, but your best shot at increasing your chances of admission at this point lies in improving your standardized test scores. Prepare yourself well for the SAT or ACT so that you end up with impressive scores that will give your more options for college. Overall, you shouldn't be too worried about the application process if you choose your colleges wisely. There are many good schools out there that will accept you with your current GPA.

Hopefully the tools in this article gave you a good sense of your chances of admission at the schools where you plan on applying (or have already applied). If it's still early in your senior year and you're concerned that your GPA might make it difficult to get into a college you really like, you might consider retaking the SAT or ACT. You can still send your scores to colleges after you've already sent in your regular applications, and high standardized test scores can go a long way in improving your admissions chances at most schools. Whatever the situation may be, your GPA most likely means that you'll be able to get into schools that you like as long as you don't set your sights unrealistically high.

Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your SAT score by 160 points? image description

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 160+ Points
Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points? image description

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

Free eBook: 5 Tips to 4+ Points on the ACT

Colleges that Accept a 3.2 GPA

What schools can you get into with a GPA of 3.2?

We've picked out a set of schools that are within range. Click on each school to learn more about it.

image description

Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are hard for you to get into now, because their average GPA is higher than a 3.2. But if you improve your SAT or ACT score, you'll have a much better shot.

School Name Location SAT ACT GPA
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 1241 28 3.42
University of Houston Houston, TX 1225 26 3.49
St. Joseph's University, Brooklyn Campus Brooklyn, NY 1213 25 3.3
Drew University Madison, NJ 1212 27 3.1
Pace University New York, NY 1173 26 3.35
State University of New York Maritime College The Bronx, NY 1170 26 3.3
University of North Texas Denton, TX 1160 23 3.47
University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX 1160 23 3.47
State University of New York College at Potsdam Potsdam, NY 1140 25 3.3
University of New Orleans New Orleans, LA 1140 23 3.21
State University of New York Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY 1130 21 3.09
image description

Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

These schools have average GPAs that are close to 3.2. If you apply to these schools, you'll have a decent chance of admission. If you improve your SAT or ACT scores, you'll significantly improve your chances .

School Name Location SAT ACT GPA
Washington State University Pullman, WA 1125 23 3.5
Albright College Reading, PA 1120 23 3.05
Stevenson University Owings Mills, MD 1120 22 3.1
University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX 1120 22 3.39
College of St. Rose Albany, NY 1108 23 3.3
Bryn Athyn College Bryn Athyn, PA 1106 22 3.2
East Carolina University Greenville, NC 1105 22 3.3
St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill, NY 1097 20 3.14
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 1080 23 3.31
California State University Channel Islands Camarillo, CA 1070 21 3.22
Salem State University Salem, MA 1065 21 3.17
image description

Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

With a GPA of 3.2, you're already strongly competitive for these schools. You're very likely to get admitted if you apply. If you improve your SAT or ACT score, your Safety Schools will get better and better.

School Name Location SAT ACT GPA
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX 1060 21 3.28
Hampton University Hampton, VA 1059 22 3.4
University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX 1040 20 3.28
Saint Peter's University Jersey City, NJ 1030 20 3.29
California State University Northridge Northridge, CA 1030 19 3.42
California State University Fresno Fresno, CA 1010 19 3.18
California State University East Bay Hayward, CA 992 19 3.2
Kean University Union, NJ 990 20 3.2
University of Texas at Brownsville Brownsville, TX 990 19 3.14
California State University Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 985 18 3.35
California State University Dominguez Hills Carson, CA 900 15 3.22

Change My GPA

Curious about what your profile is with a different GPA? Choose any GPA to see what you'd be able to do!

Analyze Your SAT/ACT Score

Wondering about how competitive your current SAT or ACT score is? We've created strategy guides for each SAT and ACT score so you can see what your chances are at schools, and what will happen if you improve your score.

Data on this page is sourced from Peterson's Databases © 2023 (Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.) as well as additional publicly available sources.

If You Liked Our Advice...

Visit our blog for free strategy guides on college admissions and test prep.

Our experts have written hundreds of useful articles on improving your SAT score and getting into college. You'll definitely find something useful here.

Visit our blog now.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get FREE strategies and guides sent to your email. Learn how to ace the SAT with exclusive tips and insights that we share with our private newsletter subscribers.

Get Free SAT Tips to Boost Your Score
100% Privacy. No spam ever.

You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all of our social networks: